Offers for paid coaching are literally everywhere right now, & I want to have a very frank conversation about it.
Personally, I have spent over $20,000 in paid coaching & courses over the last 3 years. That's how I learned A LOT of what I teach my clients. I also learned a lot about what works (and doesn't work) for me both as someone being coached and as the coach I strive to be. I wish I could say that all of it has been worth the money, but sadly that wasn’t the case. In my experience, the phrase “You get what you pay for!” doesn’t apply to business coaching.
When I started my first my business, MyFrenchU, it was by accident. I didn't pay for any coaching. I learned EVERYTHING as I went. It felt like a second job sorting through the constantly-changing, free advice of so-called gurus. On my own, it took me over 18 months to get my business to the point where I was consistently earning 4-figure months and my business was running smoothly.
With my second business, I didn't want to take that long. There was still a lot that I didn't know, and I wanted to educate myself. That's exactly how I approached it too. I researched coaches and their programs the way I researched grad programs. I also met with them to make sure that we were philosophically aligned and someone I would enjoy working with. Finally, I met with one or two people who had been through their program and asked them my questions too.
For my first business coach I paid $6,000 for a 6 month program that included a self-paced digital course with resources and live group coaching. That program was worth every penny. I made back my $6,000 investment and begin earning a profit in less than 6 months of opening The Private Practice Teacher®. I do not believe I would have been able to accomplish so much so quickly without her guidance and feedback. I was able to experience much faster growth in that businesses and with significantly more confidence.
I believe in my ability to learn and put into practice what I learn. I also really appreciate having someone "lay it out" for me rather than having to do ALL the research and trial & error on my own. It was also incredibly helpful to have other people to bounce my ideas off of and to learn from.
Then, about a year after starting The Private Practice Teacher®, I started looking for coaching again to help my business grow AND help me have a bigger voice when advocating for teachers and education. The algorithm heard me and started sending me ads for a coaching program co-developed by a well-known TedX speaker. I thought, “This could be perfect. I’d love to do a TedX talk about all the wonderful programs the teachers I work with have created for their students and communities.” Sadly, this time I did not do my due diligence. I researched the Ted-X speaker who acts as the face of the program, but I didn’t push for clarification about the particulars of their program during my discovery call. Nor did I meet with any of the actual coaches/trainers or ask to connect with current program members or alumni, so I could ask them my questions. My discovery call was with a masterful sales person. I trusted him and in my naivety and fear, I went for it.
I spent almost $12,000 on that coaching program, and it almost killed my business. They pushed me to use sales tactics that I believe to be unethical and intrusive like “pain-point marketing”, cold DM'ing, and told me NOT to explain any of particulars of my program and what it includes - instead lean into their hopes and fears. I found myself questioning if there even is a place for transparent and ethical business practices in business coaching. Because if it’s all sales tactics, manipulation, and a “numbers-game”, than it's not for me. I don’t want to be someone who makes money that way.
If it wasn’t for the wonderful teachers I’d coached up to that point and the community we created together, The Private Practice Teacher® wouldn’t still be here. They lifted me up, reminded me of who I am and why they chose to work with me instead of other teacher coaches. They also reminded me of the inspiring businesses and lives they created during our time together.
Now , last but not least, the $2,000 coaching program I most recently invested in. This 9-week digital course plus live coaching and community gave me everything that the $12,000 program promised it would but failed to deliver. The least expensive coaching program I ever paid for was exactly what I and my business needed. As a result of that program, I have been able to:
- Make my Jumpstart program less expensive and more accessible for more teachers
- Create the Teacher 2 Entrepreneur Bootcamp to help teachers make the mental transition necessary to create a successful teaching business
- Learn marketing strategies and operating systems that allow me to work for efficiently, be more productive, and provide better service
All of which is exactly what I need to grow The Private Practice Teacher® into the business I want it to become.
The bottom line is this: You're going to have to invest some ratio of time and money when starting a business. Only YOU know what ratio is right for you!
Before you invest any money in anyone’s programs I encourage you to do the following:
- Make sure you are comfortable with the person/people you will actually be working with in the program. (ie. not a sales team or onboarding member - the actual coach/coaches)
- Ask to preview the course or for a course outline
- Reach out to people who are in their program or have complete their program
- Familiarize yourself with their refund policy
- Don’t be afraid to ask “too many questions” or “dumb questions”. This is your hard-earned money. You have a right to ask as many questions as you need to in order to make an informed decision about how you spend it.
- Listen to your gut not your fear or self-doubt.
Thank you for reading. I hope this helps.
Best wishes always,
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